This past Saturday, June first, a fleet of approximately 20,000 rubber ducks were launched into the waters of Big Lake at City Park. The event, known as the Rubber Ducky Derby, entered its 10th year as a fundraiser held by the Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans. Participants buy packages of ducks (a single duck costing five dollars, six ducks-or a Quack Pack-costing $25, 12 ducks-or a Quackers Dozen--costing $50, and 25 ducks-or a Flock of Ducks--costing $100) for a chance to win a variety of prizes, ranging from a grand prize of $5000 to free Theo's Pizza for an entire year. All proceeds made from the Ducky Derby are used to combat hunger throughout Southern Louisiana.
Leading up to the Ducky Derby, families spent time relaxing and eating Theo's pizza provided by the event. Once all the ducks had taken to the water, the race began. However, unable to move of their own accord, the flock of rubber ducks was pushed by two fire hoses blasting into the water behind them. The crowd looked on in awe as the great yellow mass was led through the lake towards the finish line. After minutes of tense duck racing, the ducks crossed the finish line, and the winners were finally announced.
The Ducky Derby was fun for both duck racing fanatics and casual onlookers alike. More importantly, for every five dollars raised, the Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans was able to donate 20 meals to the struggling families of Southern Louisiana. With over 20,000 rubber ducks participating in the race, the Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans was able to provide around 400,000 meals to families in need.
The event was a success on multiple fronts: fun for the whole family while also providing assistance to the surrounding community. Almost definitely, The Ducky Derby will continue to be a tradition in New Orleans for years to come.